Archives for the month of: June, 2010

If you have a question and don’t know who to ask.

Then check out Propecia, an alleged former crack-addict and prostitute.

Propecia the crack ho orginally appeared on The Damn Show, and now her wise advice videos are available on YouTube and Vimeo.

Norma Tanega was a camp counsellor in the Catskills when she joined New Voice Records in 1966.  Her first single, ‘Walkin’ My Cat Named Dog’ charted at 22 in the Billboard 100. It was her last major chart success, and the single was sadly consigned to the list of novelty one-hit-wonders.

Though Tanega continued her Folk career, she dedicated much of her time to her long-term relationship with the legendary and brilliant singer, Dusty Springfield.  The couple had an intense relationship during the 1960s and remained life-long friends, until Springfield’s untimely death in 1999.

Tanega moved to England in the 1970s, and signed to RCA.  She eventually returned to America, where she obtained an MFA in Painting and started a career as a teacher.

Though she has performed with the World Music group Hybrid Vigor, it as an artist that Norma Tanega is best known today.

With thanks to Ian Bruce

'Love And Sorrow' (2010)

The artist, Edward C. Zacharewicz has a large collection of antique paintings and religious prints.  The collection is a reminder of the images from his childhood that inspired him to start painting.

‘I was kid and going to Catholic Church with my parents and sitting there and just looking at the paintings and murals and how beautiful they were.’

It was the colours of the paintings – the bright flame of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the royal blue of the dress of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the scourged body, the pierced side, the hues and textures of the crucified Messiah.

Colours were important even then. His parents bought him painting-by-number sets and Edward filled them diligently.

‘I always enjoyed coloring, still do. I actually didn’t start to draw until I was 8 or 9 years old.  I think it was working with color that led me to paint in the style I do.

‘Color can show much emotion without being in a physical form.’

Zacharewicz’s paintings are amongst the most powerful Abstract paintings of the past twenty-five years.  He distills experience, thought and emotion into his art.

When you look at a Zacharewicz, you can understand why his favourite painter is William Turner, the man he describes as ‘the master’.

Turner was the ‘painter of light’.  His work anticipated Impressionism, and his use of brush on canvas suggested elements of Abstract Art.

Like Turner, Zacharewicz creates layered puzzles that use colour to show power and emotion.

‘All my paintings have to do with something from my life, a situation, a feeling, a thought, a person or place. I never decide, it just happens. I have a title for the work before I start.

‘I really don’t have a routine….sometimes I go weeks without painting, then all of a sudden I get this burst of wanting to paint…it might be a situation, it might be a spoken word.’

One of his most recent paintings was inspired this way.

‘‘It’s Not That Kind Of Party’ came from a conversation I was having with my friend Jessica Paris, who is the singer for Honey Spot Blvd.

'It's Not That Kind Of Party' (2010)

‘I don’t even remember what we were talking about, but somehow that was said in the conversation and I told her I was going to use it as a title for a painting. The colors I used were based on her – bright, happy colors that work well with others.’

‘Sometimes, it takes me days to finish a painting, when there has been times were I have finished one in a few hours. It depends on the colours, if I want to blend them, layer them, or drag them.

‘I basically paint with acrylics, sometimes I do add oils to a painting because I love the texture it can give. Also on some I have used oil pastel crayons for a different look.

‘There are times when I look at a painting for a few hours figuring out if it is done or not. But, I always know when it is finished.’

While he is now incredibly prolific, there was a time when Edward stopped painting for nearly twenty years – an event he is still unable to answer.

Why did you stop painting?

‘I really don’t have a true answer for that, it just kind of happened. I went from painting then to drawing in a sketchpad, then to writing poems and lyrics. Also, I was working a lot so I actually didn’t have a fair amount of time to really concentrate on my art. But, I always kept notes about paintings that I would want to do when I did start again.’

Now that he has returned to his first love, it is unlikely that he will stop. Zacharewicz’s work is in great demand.   He is being exhibited in New York and there are plans for shows in Europe next year.  His work is also to be used on the cover of the next Honey Spot Blvd CD – ‘They are a very talented band of musicians as well as wonderful friends and always very supportive of my art.’

‘I recently finished a photo/painting project with an amazing photographer Kristine Diven.  We chose one of her self-portraits and I attached it to the canvas and did a painting around it. It really is a wonderful piece.’

Zacharewicz is also working on a year-long project with West Coast artist Jeremy Guffey.

‘Jeremy wrote a poem and sent it to me, we are each doing 6 different paintings inspired by the poem and not letting each other see them until the series is done, and that will be in finished in late October. Finally, I am trying my hand at using pastels and doing abstract landscape drawings and well as doing some photography.’

All paintings © Edward C. Zacharewicz 2010 – used with permission of the artist


You have to ask, what were they thinking?  What was going through their minds?

By what process did the admen behind this advert think of using ‘Invictus’ – William Ernest Henley’s beautiful short poem – to sell a Bank?

Did they not understand what the poem was about?  Did they think banking would somehow make us master of our fate?

‘Invictus’ told of the author’s nobility and courage in his near-death fight with tuberculosis.  How this could ever be confused with the dubious ethics that inspire financial greed, shows how much literature and art is ultimately used to maintain the status in the quo.

Henley was 12 when he fell ill with tuberculosis of the bone.  By his late teens, the disease had spread to his foot.  Though Henley coped bravely his life was ultimately marked down by the disease.  By the age of twenty-five, physicians told Henley the only way they could save his life was to amputate his leg below the knee.

His leg was amputated in 1875, and Henley successfully went on to live a full life until the age of 53.

But as the young poet lay in his hospital bed, suffering the pain, considering the loss of his limb, and the continuing threat of death, Henley wrote a poem that took his own personal suffering and sacrifice, as an example for others to follow, in order to achieve self-autonomy.  That by courage and strength, we may all be captains of our souls.

Originally titled by its dedication ‘To R. T. H. B.’ (the patron Robert Thomas Hamilton Bruce), Henley’s poem was retitled ‘Invictus’ (Latin for ‘unconquered’) when it was included in ‘The Oxford Book of English Verse’.

Sad to say, Henley’s noble sentiment is considered out of date in our self-serving and litigious world, but its true meaning is a something we should all take to heart.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gait,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.



Easy to make Carrot & Coriander Soup

Ingredients

1.5 pounds of fresh Carrots

1 Large Onion

A good handful of chopped, fresh Coriander

Sea Salt & Ground Black Peppers

1 Vegetable Stock Cube

Method

Finely dice Onion

Grate Carrots

Mix together in a large pot

Add water, Vegetable Stock Cube, Salt & Pepper

Add finely chopped Coriander (leave some for a garnish)

Cover pot, simmer for 30 minutes

Leave to cool slightly

Place soup into liquidiser (use a hand blender if easier) until smooth

Return to pot

Reheat

Serve with Double Cream or Creme Fraiche

Sprinkle with remainder of chopped Coriander

Since its opening, the Chateau Marmont has fulfilled cultural writer Mike Davis’ theory of “historic Hyper-reality” – a mock chateau modeled after the type found in the Loire Valley, filled with antique furniture, “a social fantasy embodied in simulacral landscapes.”

The Chateau is contrasted with the modern  Bungalows arranged at the rear of the main building.  Designed by Craig Ellwood, these Bungalows “demonstrate a more explicit idea of living space as a ‘mere symbolic convenience’.”

The overall effect, as Davis has described LA, is an artificial world that lives by its own rules, its own fashion, its own rhythm.

It has come to embody what the ‘artist’s commune’ thinks an hotel should be.  For the Chateau Marmont is and always has been the haven for artists, writers, musicians, actors, directors.  “There is no hotel like it in the world, and there is no world like it in any hotel.”

From the day it opened its doors, on the 1st of Ferbruary 1929, the Chateau Marmont was home to the world’s greatest actors, writers, directors, producers and musicians.  It was “a bit like the Left Bank must have seemed to Americans coming to Paris in the 1920s,” according to screenwriter Gavin Lambert.

Back then the Chateau was home to Rudolf Valentino, Hedy Lamarr, Fritz Lang, Peter Lorre, Errol Flynn, Bertolt Brecht, Josef von Stroheim, and Billy Wilder. Wilder said of the Marmont – “I would rather sleep in a bathroom than at any other hotel.”

In fact, when Wilder and ‘M‘ star Peter Lorre arrived in Hollywood, the pair shared a room together at the hotel, until Wilder found out that ‘the sinister’ Mr Lorre was a dope fiend.  Eventually Wilder spent time sleeping in the Ladies toilet ante-room, “Which got very embarrassing.  People would come in, look, and say, ‘There’s a man asleep in there.’  It’s the only time I had a bedroom with six toilets.”

“If you must get into trouble, do it at the Chateau Marmont,” legendary studio boss, Harry Cohn told young Hollywood hopefuls William Holden & Glen Ford in 1939.

Constructed to be the first earthquake proof hotel in Los Angles the Marmont has successfully survived most of Hollywood’s earth-shattering events.

Errol Flynn bedded his three wives at the Marmont, as well as Marlene Dietrich and 15 year old Beverly Aadland, over whom Flynn just avoided a statutory rape charge.

Rita Hayworth had it away with Prince Aly Khan, Orson Welles, and James Hill.   Marilyn Monroe fooled around with Arthur Miller; Grace Kelly with Gary Cooper et al.

John Wayne arrived with an ‘unidentified  brunette’  and stayed two weeks.  Jean Harlow slept with virtually everyone, and kept the staff informed of her activities with the coded phrase “Gone Fishin”, which meant she she was out cruising Sunset Strip.

Nicholas Ray moved there after his divorce from Gloria Grahame.  He cast ‘Rebel Without A Cause’  in Bungalow No. 2, and made love to his underage female lead, Natallie Wood, there.

Shelley Winters went on honeymoon In Room 55, with new husband Anthony Franciosa.

Franciosa obviously did not have a good memory for numbers, as he seemed to spend more time in Room 68, the residence of the ‘insatiable’  Anna Magnani.  This led to complaints of a knife-wielding Winters screaming “I’m going to kill you!” outside Magnani’s door.

And in Room 14 Warren Beatty, Barbara Streisand and Janis Joplin got their ‘Marmont start’.

Jim Morrison used the eighth of his nine lives here; Hunter S Thompson wrote some of his best and worst; and John Belushi notoriously died here in 1982, bringing a brief hiatus to Hollywood’s love of drugs and excess.

“The Chateau stands for all the fables of exotic Hollywood.  Romantic passion is no stranger; nor is the medicinal dose of scandal.  Liberated from what one is tempted to call the realities of the world outside, emboldened by the tradition of privacy and discretion, life takes on more than one element of theatre.”Andre Balazs

An explanation as to how and why the World’s Top Economies are Bust.

Jam Sandwich

1 quarter pound of Butter

1 Egg

1 quarter pound of Porridge Oats

3oz of Sugar

1 quarter pound of Self-raising Flour

1 level teaspoon of Cinnamon

Jam – preferably Blackcurrant or Raspberry

Prepare all the ingredients.

Cream the Butter and Sugar together, and slowly add in the beaten Egg.

Sieve the flour then add into the Egg and Flour mix, along with the Oats and the Cinnamon.

Mix into a Paste.

Rub some butter on a deep 7 inch sandwich tin.

Line the tin with Half the Paste.

Spread with jam.

Cover the rest with the remaining Paste.

Bake in oven 180C or 350F for 45 minutes, until crisp and brown.

Remove from dish.

Leave to stand.

Serve with a cup of hot, fresh tea.

Planet Paul 2010

Walking through Kelvingrove.  A Friday afternoon.

Although Peter Cushing was born in 1913, the world famous actor preferred to see his birth year as 1942 – the year he met Violet Helen Beck.

Peter and Helen married in 1943, and the former actress became the centre of Cushing’s life: encouraging him, and supporting him throughout the early, lean years of his career.

As Cushing later said, “I owe it all to Helen.  She was an actress and gave up her career for me.  She made me what I am. She gave me a confidence, I could never have found on my own.”

In many of Cushing’s movies, a small silver framed portrait of Helen can be seen as a prop used by the likes of Baron Victor Frankenstein and Professor Van Helsing.

Cushing’s life with Helen was lived more on a mental plane than a physical one, as he told ‘New Reveille’ in 1974.

“We didn’t consider the physical aspect of marriage very important,” he explained.

Yet, their love was so great that Cushing claimed his life ended the day Helen died in 1971.

On that fateful night, Cushing repeatedly ran up and down stairs to induce a heart attack.  He failed and later said his actions had been caused by the trauma of his wife’s death.

“I had always hoped that we would depart this life together, but it was not to be,’ he said.

Thereafter, Cushing had a death wish, and claimed that death was the only happy ending to his love affair with Helen.

“I am not a religious man, but I try to live by Christian ethics.  Helen has passed on but she is with me still.  She is all around.

“What I am doing is merely existing – longing for the day when I shall die and join her for ever.  We will be together again but time does not heal.”

Before she died, Helen wrote Peter a poem telling him “not to be hasty to leave” until he had lived the life he had been given.

“I could not take away my life, because that would be letting Helen down.  But I would be so happy if I could die tomorrow.”

But death did not come quickly for the Gentleman of Horror.  Cushing lived for a further 23 years, performing in some of his most memorable films, which highlighted the very fine talents of this very great actor.